Black Engineers at Codesmith Scholarship - Meet Maureen

To help our goal of diversifying the tech industry and empower Black students to pursue careers in Software Engineering, our Black Engineers at Codesmith Scholarship offers full-tuition assistance to our Software Engineering Immersive programs.

Meet Maureen, a Black Engineers at Codesmith Scholarship recipient.

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A NEW CAREER DIRECTION

I was in the process of studying for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) when the COVID-19 pandemic began, which resulted in the cancellation of my MCAT exam. With everything at a pause, this was the first time in a while that I had the chance to reflect on various aspects of life, including my career choice. It wasn’t long before I realized that medicine was not my path. While I enjoyed science and my pre-medical journey, I had never really been exposed to many career paths growing up.

That is when I decided to take a step back and really look into other industries, including technology. During my research, I realized that the tech world was nothing like I assumed it was. I learned that technology was an ever evolving industry that would not only satisfy my desire for lifelong learning but would also allow me to express my creativity in my work, and more importantly, to make a positive impact in others’ lives. 

I was intrigued by the various roles that I found in tech and was excited for all the possibilities that the industry had to offer. Immediately, I started teaching myself how to code to become more acquainted with the subject.

A few weeks after teaching myself some basic programming concepts in Python, I decided to pursue software engineering as a career. Because I was having a hard time self-studying, I knew that I would need structure and the support of a community of other students to embark on this journey. However, attending college for another four years was not an option for me due to the cost. Luckily, the tech industry provides other avenues into the field which gave me hope. After scouring the web researching how to become a software engineer, I decided a bootcamp would be the most probable route for me. 

FINDING & JOINING THE IMMERSIVE

I began researching coding bootcamps and came across a “Day in the Life at Codesmith” YouTube video created by a previous Codesmith resident. This was the first time I heard about Codesmith. From there, I visited the Codesmith website and found that they offered free workshops to help prospective students learn Javascript fundamentals.

I attended the first workshop and learned so much that I couldn’t believe Codesmith would offer such events for free. This was a huge indication to me that Codesmith was truly invested in helping students learn and succeed in their software engineering journey. 

Additionally, the Codesmith culture totally blew me away. I felt so encouraged and supported from the moment I began attending the workshops, I immediately knew that this was the learning environment that I needed to succeed in this journey. At that point, I set my heart on going to Codesmith.

Soon after, I enrolled in Javascript for Beginners and CS Prep to prepare for the immersive program. I also used the CSX platform to practice solving algorithms in preparation for my Codesmith technical interview. However, I did not pass the interview on my first attempt, which was discouraging.

Shortly after, a Codesmith fellow reached out to me and went over all the concepts that I struggled with. I felt that the Codesmith community was truly rooting for me! This gave me even more motivation to keep studying and reach my goal of getting into the Codesmith Software Engineering Immersive.

CSX interface

THE BLACK ENGINEERS AT CODESMITH SCHOLARSHIP

While I was very excited that I was accepted, I was initially unsure of how I would be funding the program. Receiving the Black Engineers at Codesmith Scholarship made it possible for me to attend this program and allowed me to continue pursuing my career in software engineering, and I am forever grateful that Codesmith makes an effort to break down barriers by supporting students in need in their desire to become software engineers. 

I intend to pay this forward by mentoring other young engineers like me on their journey into the tech field. Not only has this program developed my software engineering skills, but I have also made lifelong friendships with my peers. All of this would not have been possible without this scholarship. 

Zoom activity screengrab

To say that Codesmith has been amazing thus far would be an understatement. I am now halfway through the program and we are preparing to build our final production project. I am looking forward to what this next phase of my Codesmith journey has to offer!

Blog written by Maureen O., Codesmith NYC Immersive Cohort 24.

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Hear from Amir, another recipient of the Black Engineers at Codesmith Scholarship here, as well as learn more about how Codesmith provides mentorship for Software Engineering Immersive residents here

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